It’s getting kids to eat what parents serve that causes so many problems.

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DINA ROSE, PhD is a sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert empowering parents to raise kids who eat right.
Links

Dinner Together Building Healthy Families One Meal at a Time.

Food Politics Marion Nestle's intelligent take on the politics of food and nutrition.

Fooducate Like Having a Dietician on Speed dial.

Hoboken Family Alliance A terrific resource for people living in the great city of Hoboken, NJ.

The Lunch Tray Everything you need to know about improving school lunches.

Parent Hacks Forehead-Smackingly Smart Tips

Raise Healthy Eaters One of the best blogs (other than my own) for learning to raise healthy eaters.

Real Mom Nutrition Tales from the Trenches. Advice for the Real World. From a mom-nutritionist who knows!

Stay and Play The best indoor playspace on the East Coast. Oh yeah, and it happens to be owned by my brother.

weelicious Great Recipes for Kids 

Entries in Fruit (9)

Tuesday
Jan152013

The Girl Scouts' Answer to Fruits and Vegetables: Mango Crèmes

Another "healthy" cookie. This time from the Girl Scouts.

Have you heard about Mango Crèmes?  According to ABC Bakers, the company who makes these cookies for the Girl Scouts, they are made with Nutrifusion. Whatever that is.

ABC Bakers thinks these cookies are the answer to the fact that:

  • 75-80% of Americans do not eat an adequate amount and variety of fruits and vegetables. And
  • 87% of American consumers are interested in learning more about beneficial products that can provide a host of health benefits.

 Read what ABC Bakers has to say here.

I wrote about these cookies yesterday on Psychology Today.

You won't be surprised to learn that Mango Crèmes are not any healthier than the other GS cookies. They also don't contain any mango.

What they contain is a cocktail of concentrates: cranberry, pomegranate, orange, grape, strawberry and shitake mushrooms. Yes. Mushrooms! (Maybe they didn't think calling these cookies Mushroom Crèmes would be as appealing?)

Read the rest of my Psychology Today post, The Girl Scouts Miss the Boat with Mango Crèmes.

Adding fruit and vegetable concentrates to cookies is not the way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

  • Nutrients do not provide the same healthful kick when they don't come in their original packaging.
  • Adding fruit concentrate, a euphamism for added sugar, to cookies is like putting icing on a cake: it is adding sugar on top of sugar.
  • Eating cookies teaches kids to eat cookies, not shitake mushrooms.

Give your kids these cookies if they like them. (I'm sure they're delicious.) Just don't buy them as a way to be healthy. 

Give your kids cookies with added nutrients because you worry they aren't getting the nutrition they need from "real" foods and you'll train your kids' taste buds away from "real" foods.

Then what will you do? Give your kids cookies with added nutrients to make sure they get the right nutrition? It's a crazy vicious cycle.

For more on this topic, read Cookies and the Cycle of Guilty Eating.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

Monday
Nov262012

"Crunches Like an Apple. Tastes Like a Grape."

Have you heard about Grapple?

Say 'Grape-L'  

My husband and I ran across Grapples in the store yesterday. Imagine an apple crossed with a grape Pixy Stix.  Yum.

Turning a natural food into a processed food.  That's value added!

Are they nuts?

The website touts:

  • The newest thing in apples.
  • Eating healthy has never been this much fun!
  • Apples are a fantastic snack. Grapes are a wonderful snack. Try a Grāpple® brand apple today, and enjoy the best of both of them in one!
  • A relaxing bathing process prepares our apples for you or your kids.

More from their website: Q) Why does it say ‘Natural and Artificial Flavor’ ?

A) Our main flavor ingredient is the same synthesized grape flavoring agent used in 100’s of other retail food items. Because it is not feasible for us to ‘crush all of the flavor’ we would need from grapes themselves, we are forced to say ‘Natural and Artificial Flavor’. The grape flavoring is the same that you would get out of Mother Nature’s grapes themselves.

It's tempting to get outraged.  Believe me, that's where I went first. But when you think about it...

Is this any different than fortifying grape juice with Vitamin C (so manufacturers can say it's more than sugar water)?

JUICY JUICE INGREDIENTS:

APPLE JUICE, AND GRAPE JUICE (WATER, JUICE CONCENTRATES), AND LESS THAN 0.5% OF NATURAL FLAVORS, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), CITRIC ACID

Actually, Grapples might even be better than juice.

From a habits perspective, a juice habit is likely to lead to a soda habit.  A Grapple habit would lead to an apple habit.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

Monday
Oct222012

Healthy Food Projects

Want to engage your children in the experience of new foods? Set their imaginations on fire?

1. Choose five fruits and five vegetables and organize them by their colors: red, green, yellow and blue.

2. Create your own edible fruit bouquet by piercing fruit slices on skewars and using half a cabbage as a base to stick the skewers in.

3. At the grocery store, see how many healthy foods start with each letter of the alphabet.

4. Make an animal out of an apple or pear with toothpicks, berries and walnuts.

5. String a necklace or bracelet with yarn and different shapes of noodles. (Paint them if you wish.)

6. Decorate an old hat with vegetables using glue sticks, and call it your "imagination hat." Then share a story with friends.

7. Plant some herb seeds in a cup of soil, water them, and watch the seedings grow.

8. Build a veggie-monster on a paper plate with toothpicks holding the pieces together.

9. Count how many oranges are in each bag at the grocery store. Then count the bags. How many oranges do you think there are all together?

10. Carve your own stamp into half a potato or jicama, dip it in paint, and press it down on paper for a special design.

I wish I could take credit for these ideas, but I can't. 

They come from the terrific book Healthy Foods from A to Z, Comida sana de la A a la Z.  Not only will this book teach your kids about fruits and vegetables, it will also teach them Spanish!!! Check it out.

Remember, games, cooking, gardening and other ways of exposing kids to foods are like earrings...they're accessories.

Accessories don't do much on their own, but they can make an outfit rock.

Games, gardening, cooking, and crafts all work best when you add them onto a solid feeding structure—Read House Building 101.

If you've got a kid who will cook but who won't eat, you know what I mean.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~